Considering the traffic and search engine capacity of Google, the widely used search engine keeps updating its search engine algorithm from time to time. Till now backlinks, SEO strategy, and keywords have remained major focus points to boost the ranking of web pages. In the recent update, Google has announced core web vitals as the new ranking signals. The new set of signals revolve around the on-page user experience and it is likely to be implemented from May 2021. It is Google’s way of enhancing overall user experience of its pages.
These core web vitals accounts for visual stability, interactivity, and loading speed of the page. Further, core web vitals will be combined with the following factors-
- Mobile Friendliness
- Intrusive interstitial guidelines
- Safe browsing
- HTTPS Security (SSL)
However, core web vitals would not be the only deciding factor for the position of the page on the search engine. Quality of content will remain the element of prominence in the ranking of a page on the search engine.
In this post, we will tell you about core web vitals and ways to work on them.
What are Core Web Vitals?
Core web vitals are sub-set of web vitals. Primarily, these are set of metrics designed to weigh the web usability of sites. The web usability will be measured in terms of responsiveness, speed, and visual stability.
Major metrics that would be indicative of site usability are following-
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): The google ranking signal corresponds to the loading time of the site from standpoint of visitors. Loading time is measured from the point of time the link is clicked till the majority of content is loaded on-screen.
A good LCP is said to be in the range of 2.1 sec to 2.5 sec, as per Google. You can check the LCP score at ‘Google PageSpeed Insights
How to improve LCP:
- Upgrade your host
- Set-up lazy loading
- Remove third-party script from your website
- Remove large page element
- Shorten your CSS
First Input Delay (FID): It is a parameter to check the interactivity of the web page, once it is loaded. Ideally, FID should be 100ms. Anything beyond that needs improvement.
For example, if a user is trying to log in, the landing page should be responsive within 100ms or less. The user should be able to feed the login details as soon as possible once the web pages have been loaded.
How to improve FID:
- Implement browser cache to load the content of page faster
- Eliminate non-critical third-party scripts to avoid negative impact on FID
Cumulative Layout Shifts (CLS): The metric checks the visual stability of a web page. It determines the stability of various elements while the page loads. The higher the cumulative layout shift, the lower is the quality of the webpage structure. As per Google, the metric should be closest to zero or 0.1; anything beyond that needs improvement.
How to improve CLS:
If a page consists of both text and image, and the size of the image has not been specified by the developer in the code, the text will load first. Further, the image will appear. This will misalign the placement of text and image in the process of loading the page.
Why Core Web Vitals Are Important?
In the process of ranking improvement, core web vitals is the new checklist. It is because core web vitals are explicitly associated with visitor’s experience on a webpage. It is something very much similar to UX, except core web vitals are for webpage visitors. Improving web metrics will directly enhance the visitor experience of your page. This, in turn, will boost the ranking of the page (SERP) on Google.
How Core Web Vitals Will Influence Page Traffic?
In 2021, Google is targeting to improve the page experience of visitors. On that scale, core web vitals are essential metrics deciding the page representation. Apart from LCP, CLS, and FID, mobile-friendliness, HTTPS-security, safe browsing, and intrusive interstitial guidelines are also going to play a vital role in enhancing the overall page experience.
Now that these factors will account for Google ranking signals, not optimizing them will, certainly, drop the ranking of a webpage eventually. From a visitor’s point of view, if the UX of your page is not up to the mark, they will be discouraged from browsing and visiting your website.
Moreover, core web vitals will be essential elements for Google’s top stories. Not adapting to the latest update would result in a loss of traffic to the sites.
Considering the above circumstances, the only and best option is to optimize the page with the latest core web vitals. This brings us to the last but very important segment of the post-
How to Prepare Website for Google Core Web Vitals Update?
In the direction, the first step would be to check the status of your webpage on Google Search Console. In the process, identify the performance of the URL whether it is good, needs improvement, or poor. Further, based on the result- strategize a plan to improve overall UX as per Google’s page experience.
Talking of page experience, here is how you can prepare and improve it-
- Monitor Mobile Responsiveness-The parameter is used to identify the mobile-friendliness of a web-page. It checks the ease of accessibility and usability of the web page.
- Allocate Space for Content- Fixed height and width attributes of media elements distribute the space uniformly. This minimizes the probability of a sudden shift in layout while the media is loading. As a result, CLS doesn’t vary inappropriately.
- Optimize Your Images- Usually, websites have a hero image as the main banner at top of the web page. Ensure to optimize the image to keep it within the LCP threshold to keep the loading performance of your web page in check.
- Quality Content Trumps All Metrics- Relevant content keeps the visitors coming to your page, which indirectly contributes to the overall UX of the webpage. Quality content is always going to add value to your website and attract traffic in the long run.
With the latest strategy of core web vitals, Google aims to enhance the user experience on every website. This will be done in reference to ease of usability and website accessibility. These core web vitals are nothing but the subset of web vitals.
The changes are supposedly going to be implemented by May 2021, as of now. Further, announcements related to operation and execution will be updated by the search engine giant in the coming months.
Implementing these updates will, indeed, result in better SERP (search engine result pages); however, the theme of informative content will continue to rule in the coming time as well. High-quality, informative and relevant content is an essential element to keep the visitors hooked to the website and gain a loyal audience.
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For more information on our services, feel free to contact us.